For small towns on the Bay of Quinte, the future is immigration
The latest census shows more than 200 Canadian towns saw their populations fall in the last five years. One Ontario community is trying to sustain its population and economic growth through immigration.
TORSTAR – Richard Joseph had never heard of Belleville, but the immigrant from India is now calling it home — and loving it.
“A smaller community makes the transition easier. There is no hustle and bustle, and people here do have time for me. It would have taken me much longer to settle down in a big city like Toronto,” said the 35-year-old from Bangalore, a metropolitan city in India with a population of nine million.
“There are more opportunities and less competition here. The salaries are not as high as in the big cities, but the cost of living is lower. It is enough for me to live comfortably,” said Joseph, who works as an operation and planning co-ordinator at an area trucking company.
Joseph, who settled in Ontario in 2015 for a postgraduate program at Loyalist College, represents what smaller communities across Canada are going after as they struggle to sustain their populations and economic growth through immigration.
Urban municipalities surrounding Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver have seen a surge of immigration in the past decade and now smaller communities are ready to receive their share.
The challenge is that many prospective immigrants don’t know they even exist and are unaware of the opportunities available outside cities.